Ryan Spiker, the Democratic nominee in House District 26 (parts of Clackamas and Washington counties) announced today he is dropping out of a November match-up against incumbent state Rep. Rich Vial (R-Scholls).
"After much consideration, I am doing what is best for my health and stepping back from my campaign for state representative," Spiker said in a statement. "My own experience living with Type I Diabetes and knowing how critical having access to quality, affordable health care is for managing this condition was part of the reason I stepped up to challenge Rep. Richard Vial for this seat."
Spiker's decision is significant because it reduces Democrats' chances to pick up a seat that could help them enlarge the 35 to 25 majority they currently hold. Passing new taxes requires a three-fifths majority, so Democrats are anxious to pick up at least one GOP seat.
Spiker, a Navy veteran who now works in compliance for Kaiser Permanente, is a first-time candidate and faced an uphill battle to defeat an incumbent but HD 26 is turning blue. In 2016, when Vial captured an open seat, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 138 voters.
As of April, when the elections division last released registration statistics, the Democratic advantage had grown to 921 voters.
Democrats will now get a chance to select a new nominee.